On Sunday night, John Oliver dedicated part of the opening portion of his Emmy-winning show Last Week Tonight to the latest Democratic candidate debate, where frontrunner Joe Biden was asked the following question from ABC News moderator Linsey Davis:
“Mr. Vice President, I want to talk to you about inequality in schools and race. In a conversation about how to deal with segregation in schools back in 1975, you told a reporter, ‘I don’t feel responsible for the sins of my father and grandfather. I feel responsible for what the situation is today, for the sins of my own generation, and I’ll be damned if I feel responsible to pay for what happened 300 years ago.’ You said that some 40 years ago, but as you stand here tonight, what responsibility do you think that Americans need to take to repair the legacy of slavery in our country?
Biden, who’s had a number of foot-in-mouth moments on the campaign trail thus far, unleashed a confusing ramble of a response that included, in part: “We bring social workers into homes of parents to help them deal with how to raise their children. It’s not that they don’t want to help. They don’t know what... they don’t know what quite what to do. Play the radio. Make sure the television—excuse me, make sure you have the record player on at night…”
In addition to no doubt offending potential African-American voters, the “record player” gaffe inspired a number of op-eds questioning Biden’s age and fitness to be president (he is 76, which would make him the oldest person ever elected to the office). And now, we can add Oliver’s name to the pile-on.
“Oh, shit! That is Joe Biden saying ‘television,’ then replacing it with ‘record player,’ and then just barely stopping himself from saying ‘phonograph,’” cracked Oliver, failing to contain his laughter.
He then added, “And let’s all remember that very funny moment when Biden sends a concession telegram to Trump next November!”